February 10, 2016

Wizard101 & Pirate101 Changed My Life!

Hi there,

I have wanted to make a post about Anxiety and Depression for years. I know many people around the community and worldwide suffer from Anxiety, Depression or another illness. I am going to talk about Anxiety and Depression today because it's something that I had to deal with for nearly ten years. There was a change, though! Keep reading to see how things changed within the ten years.

The First Few Years
Anxiety Attacks or Panic Attacks are never something easy to deal with. If you have an anxiety or panic attack you feel like you're dying: you can't breathe, your heart races to a point that it feels like you're having a heart attack, trembling and overall just FEAR. These are only a few symptoms that I experienced when I first had a panic attack in Middle School in the year 2005. I thought I had the flu or something so I had to call home and let my parents know that I wasn't feeling well. Most of the attacks really began in 8th and 9th grade. There was a point that I felt like the life I was living wasn't life because it felt like everyone else was happier. I think the uptick of all of the anxiety and panic attacks began shortly after my Grandma passed away from Cancer. On top of the Anxiety, I slowly became depressed and felt like everything that I was doing was wrong and the life I was living wasn't great. I didn't feel like I was normal because I didn't know one person that had Anxiety and I felt like I was the only one that had it. Living with a Generalized Anxiety Disorder was not easy at all.

I don't always share anything about my life that's too personal, but since I want somebody with Anxiety to know that I know what they're going through I'll say this next thing. I had to take prescription medication at one time for my anxiety and depression. I remember going to the office shortly after lunch to take the medication for it and shortly after I arrived home, I ate dinner around 3:00 P.M. and fell asleep for the night. This didn't make me feel any better because I felt like I was sleeping my life away. I couldn't believe that each and every day I'd wake up for school around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and feel sick to my stomach every day, attend school and then sleep and repeat. It's really not as depressing as you think it is because something happened that helped me realize what life really is!

Joining Wizard101 
As many of you know.. I joined Wizard101 in 2009 (nearly seven years ago - at the time after feeling depressed). On the 4th of July, 2009, I was watching Cartoon Network and noticed a commercial for Wizard101! Many of you know that I was looking for a game at the time to get my mind off everything that my anxiety was causing. I actually created an account a few seconds after seeing that old Malistaire Commercial. :D I created my ice wizard and began playing Wizard101. I met MANY amazing people in the game when I first joined and I felt like the game was therapeutic. I actually found out about the community in 2010 from Tom Purdue's amazing website "The Friendly Necromancer". I remember listening to Ravenwood Radio, reading Friendly's website and visiting Diary of a Wizard every day! Wait.. this post is about anxiety and depression right? Do I still have my anxiety during all of this? Well.. You have to keep reading. :D

The medication that I had to take was something that I wasn't addicted to, but something that I had to have to prevent my anxiety attacks from recurring. Yeah... that changed quickly! While playing Wizard101, I met many friends and it really got my mind off of the anxiety that was holding me back. I remember getting off the medication and being able to control my panic attacks for the first time! I felt like a new person and I felt that my life was beginning to change for the better. I also was able to stop taking depression medication because I was far from depressed. You know that I created this website and started making posts about the game and the community. Making Wizard101 posts really became more than a hobby to me. :D

Joining Pirate101
A few years later, in 2012, I was invited by Kingsisle to join Beta! Pirate101 was actually my very first Beta game so I'll always remember it. I joined Pirate101 shortly before thinking about what I was going to do in the future. I was worried about my future because I thought my anxiety would make a return if I decided to start a new chapter in my life. I also knew that I wanted to continue playing the games without the worry about attending college. HA! I was wrong. Two years later, I decided that it was time to start attending college. I joined a community college (until I transfer later), to earn my Associate's Degree in Computer Programming. Why did I choose computer programming? Well, think about it.. Kingsisle has many amazing software developers that created the games that we love. They were actually my inspiration to enroll to my local community college. I felt like it was time to start doing what I wanted to do, to learn more about computers.

A Brighter Future
I wanted to make this post letting anybody that suffers from Anxiety to know that anything is possible! I'm here for you, just like many of the community members were here for me and really didn't even know it. :D I really didn't feel like anything was possible a few years ago, but now I feel that everything is possible if you NEVER give up. I can't believe that I only have a few semesters left of this college until I transfer. I'm nearly halfway done! :D I don't know where I'm going to work in the future (I hope at Kingsisle :P), but I do know that if I keep trying, I can do anything! I want everyone that's reading this post that you can do anything too! It might not seem like it now, but if you keep pushing through those tough times, you can do anything. I never believed in that before now, but now I do! I still have Anxiety, but it's not controlling my life and I don't have nearly as many panic attacks as I did. It's normal to have Anxiety, Depression or anything else you might have. I want you to know that if you keep trying, what you're working for WILL happen. :) I don't know how many hearts this post will touch, but I hope it touches your heart. If you were looking for a sign that you should keep trying to reach your dreams, well... this is it! Keep trying!! I really want to thank each and every one of you for your support, and Kingsisle for creating their amazing games! Wizard101 and Pirate101 are not only games. They are much more than that to me. They have changed my life! I'll always remember these games and I'm not just saying that because I'm a P101 fansite owner. I love their games and I will continue supporting the games and the community forever! Always work for the future that you want. No matter what you believe in, we're extremely lucky to be living right now. We're all miracles! Never give up, you can do it!! I was able to through Wizard101, Pirate101, the community, family, and prayer. Anything is possible if you keep trying!

After reading this post, make up a quote for this picture. :)


Iridian Willowglen said...

There are rainbows everywhere, sometimes you just have to look harder to see them. Find yours!

Chrissy The Blesser said...

Just like we should never forget the promise God made when He gave us the rainbow, we should never forget that we never alone in our trials. We are here for each other. The different colors of our trials merge together to make the glorious rainbow of our life.

Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts said...

Keep calm and rainbow on. ;)

Also, if you ever need help with web designing, let me know! :)

Kevin Hawkfist said...

Everyone wants happiness nobody wants pain, but you can't have a rainbow without a little rain c;

Emma IceHeart said...

Wow, my story is similar, I also suffered nightmares and anxiety for years and little by little I was overcoming it, although there are things that can not forget.
I'm glad you feel better. :)

Matthew Dragonblade said...

I don't have a caption for the picture, but I'm sorry that you have anxiety, cause I get it often too. I'm glad Wizard101 and Pirate101 have changed your outlook on life