Oh god. It’s been over a week. I’m sorry, I’m really sorry! I told myself I’d update this daily – and I still stand by that! This was just a blip. The first of many, I’m sure. Since my last post I just plumb ran out of spoons. Stuff got on top of me and I became a wreck. Happens to the best of us, right? But I’ve built myself back up now and it’s back to business as usual. I don’t have anything to tell you writing-wise though so get ready for me to talk about videogames. I told you I’d do this. I warned you.
Okay, so 2016 did its thing again and writing was the furthest thing from my mind for a while. I had to retreat into World of Warcraft to stay sane. Specifically, I set myself a new goal. A massive, lofty, time-devouring, focus-snatching goal that would keep my mind everywhere but the self-immolating thoughts of doom and gloom it so desperately wanted to bathe itself in. I decided to not only play, but master every single healer in World of Warcraft.
For those counting, there’s 6. Resto Shaman, Resto Druid, Disc Priest, Holy Priest, Holy Paladin and Mistweaver Monk. 6 Specializations across 5 characters. A ridiculous goal to be aiming for? Perhaps, but it’s one that kept me afloat for a week, so I’m happy with that. And even now that it’s served its spoon-building purpose I’m just finding so much joy in it. I have been a Healer in games for as long as I can remember. My time as an Elemental Shaman was a rare and socially-enforced departure from the norm for me, and I am so grateful for my Lord and Saviour, Ion Hazzikostas, for making that healing ring drop for me and giving me the push I needed to go back.
Returning to Restoration spec on my main not only made Legion so much more enjoyable for me at a time at which the game was threatening to be more of a source of anxiety than a release from it, it also reminded me just how much I love healing in games and always have.
In World of Warcraft, I have mostly been a healer.
In Heroes of the Storm and other MOBAS, I play the support.
In Team Fortress 2, I was the Medic.
Even my favourite Pokémon, Tangrowth, has four ways to heal herself. Giga Drain, Leech Seed, Regenerator, Leftovers. Heck, the grass type in general (my favourite type) has several means to heal itself to the point that I’d call it one of the defining themes of the type, alongside status attacks.
I love healing in games. I always have.
And I wonder what that says about me as a person?
I can’t claim to be even remotely qualified in the field of Psychology, but as someone who isn’t neurotypical the subject of psychology has at least some bearing on my life. So let’s do some lazy, half-baked psychoanalysis.
My love of healing and support roles in games may well tie in to my supportive nature in real life. I don’t like healing people in a doctory sense – in fact I can’t stand doctors, but that’s another topic for another day. But in terms of offering emotional support to the people around me, I was basically born to do it. Even through my writing, I’m looking to give people a pick-me-up where they need it.
And to compare and contrast this with my wife, she loves playing characters that can protect others. Warriors who can fight for themselves and also defend the weak. She is a Protection Warrior in World of Warcraft, a Barbarian in Diablo III, and as close to Xena the Warrior Princess as possible in every game that allows it. And it reflects her perfectly as well.
She is tough. She is strong. The things she goes through are things I know would destroy me completely. I am always in awe of the things she endures. And I am deeply looking forward to the day I no longer have to type those words. (We’re getting there, slowly but surely!).
My wife can endure things that I cannot. I can support my wife in ways she cannot support herself. We take care of each other in asymmetrical but equally important ways. We lean on each other through hard times and share our joy with each other during good times.
She is the tank. I am the healer. She protects me. I restore her.
Emotionally, that is. This is all a metaphor.
We’ve joked about it before but it hasn’t been until the last week in which I have become very introspective about my gaming habits and how they both inform and are informed by my actual personality. Who knows. Maybe I’m talking a load of old shit. But it’s interesting to think about.
And boy howdy, am I looking forward to the stage in our lives when she doesn’t have to pop her defensives quite as often.