Nostalgia: Narcan for the Soul
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The morning I woke up naked on a plastic-covered mattress at 3:00 a.m. was an eventful one. I'd tried ending my life the night before and apparently failed in doing so. Unsure of how I survived the medley of toxic substances I'd consumed, I accepted the situation for what it was. The previous night's desire to never open my eyes again had faded, and it was time to go get some help. Sloppily throwing on my military uniform, I stumbled down the barracks hallway and pounded on my buddy's door to ask him for a ride to the hospital. Twenty minutes later I was in a chair next to a social worker who, based on her facial expressions, couldn't necessarily blame me for trying to do what I did. There was plenty to be done in terms of treatments and medications, but not a whole lot to talk about as far as trying to see the situation differently. What she said next is probably the only reason I didn't try again the next day:
"Right now sucks. I can't fix that, and neither can you. So let's forget about right now, and go back a few years."
She took the next few minutes to elaborate, explaining how indulging in a form of media that I'd enjoyed during happier times could be beneficial in getting me through the next couple of months. She clearly was thinking about books and movies, but I jumped straight to video games. Playing games on personal computers wasn't unheard of in the barracks by any means, and I bought a gaming-capable laptop the next day. After downloading a copy of "ESV: Skyrim" (my favorite game from right before I joined the service), I felt the first specks of joy in weeks. Over the next several months, I found that the social worker couldn't have been more correct. Every time I slayed a dragon or pickpocketed a ruby ring, I felt myself taken back to a happier time in my life - a time when joining the military hadn't even crossed my mind yet. A time when becoming the head of the Thieves Guild was more important than anything. I didn't want to die while I was wielding the Wabbajack, and that's all that mattered.
Let people say what they will about gaming. Playing as a youngster saved my life as an adult. Although I hope nobody reading this will ever need to use gaming in such a capacity, I hope that you'll take a moment to enjoy your game today, for tomorrow's sake.