I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about giving up. Because a horizontal figure eight is too advanced for me to type on my laptop …


There is no reset button to life, no chance of a multiplayer game when you feel you’re the only person playing. And with a whole fleet of bad guys flooding my peripheral vision through the thick screen of my NHS prescription glasses, I don’t know how I managed to continue.

Mental Health is a forced game that I’ve been unwillingly playing since I was a child, and it brought me up; but now it’s time to let go.

I wish life had thrown me a Nintendo game, which included cute puppy dogs, instead of  a war game that felt frighteningly real.

As a player who has suffered from anxiety, depression and PTSD I can honestly say I’ve had my fair share of losing a couple rounds and having to start the same game all over. They call it replaying, but it’s more like relapsing; something we all don’t have the effort to go through again. And what made it worse was that I felt I had bought the limited edition of an AO-rated game that no one else was playing but me. Oh, how wrong I was. So naive to think that no one else has tried and tested the product before.

I felt that there was a massive gap between my prayers and the thunderous war I was engaged in. That’s the moment I felt like giving up, because my flagged messages weren’t being answered.

I didn’t ask for much, in fact, I only asked for fellow players to join my team to combat the opposing army. This army included GCSEs, family members, ex friends … I could go on but for those of you who need help, I know you feel that you don’t have much time to spare.

(Spoiler alert), the game actually got better and my newly joined team players got better too. One in particular caught my eye. He was going through the same round I had just completed and I could help guide him step-by-step in order for him to then join me on the other side.

There is no better councillor than the ones who have completed the game before, even if it was during the times of Atari. These players can still pass on their skills and knowledge, mentoring you through the process.

Over time, my relationship with the war game got better.

Looking back, I wish I found an extra headset to hand over to my parents so that they could listen to what I was going through. The negative voices, the constant yelling of the word ‘noob’ and all of the hits I was receiving from my opponents, especially their teaming up with the other players and causing me further damage. During this time my team members were vital, keeping me alive by having my back when I was open to so much hate and discrimination for being a girl gamer.

My mental health game not only included inappropriate language and physical violence, it enveloped my soul, my passion, and all of my subconscious thoughts.

I remember when I saw my life go spiralling downwards, I felt like dragging everyone else’s down with me when I should’ve used up all the life I had left to make the game easier for my teammates.

So, I urge you fellow gamers to hold on. And I say to the opposition, learn what it is like to be a member for the other side, because understanding the game makes it easier to play, and win.

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