Looking back at the time leading up, and shortly following, my last blog I've realized something: I was 100%, certifiably crazy for a while. Not as in the derogatory use of the word but actually crazy, as in "not sane". I misconstrued every situation as to fit the very dark narrative that I had going for myself and looking back parts of the week are kind of foggy. That's kind of scary to look back to. However, it's not as scary as looking back and seeing how I treated those around me during those very dark hours. It wasn't that I was abusive but by choosing to interpret everything in the worst light possible also meant that I didn't treat them the way they deserve to be treated. Luckily something in me could identify what was going on and that same part knew I didn't want to feel like that anymore, so I got help.
I had my first appointment with my therapist and it's actually amazing how getting a third party involved can help you. As I sat in his room for the first session I had to explain everything about myself. My relationships, what I'm doing in the Netherlands, my history. Everything. And that helped tremendously. By having to explain all those things to him, I also explained them to myself. I gave myself a fresh insight into my life and put everything in perspective. And when you do that, patterns start to emerge.
I love going to esports events. The feel of an arena filled with fans — for Dota, LoL, CS:GO or whatever doesn't really matter — is something special. There's something in the air. The fact that I've also managed to get myself in a position where I know a lot of people at these events also means that I get to catch up with some absolutely wonderful people. A while back I got the idea to go to ESL One Cologne and started arranging a trip for the office. But due to me entering this depressed phase I decided to drop out. I didn't have the energy, I told myself. So when my therapist asked me about my hobbies I told him about photography and going to events, and how I had the opportunity to go but turned it down. That was enough for a seed to be planted in my head: "Why the fuck aren't I going?". So when the opportunity arose later on in the week, I jumped on it. And boy, was it the right call.
Not only did I get myself out of the house, but I also got to do some photography and meet these wonderful people I've gotten to know over the years. And on my way home this morning, exhausted, I realized something: the fog was gone and I wasn't overthinking everything. I'd just spent a weekend doing something I love and it had fixed the acute issues with my mental health. This is what finally broke my downwards spiral (together with a few other things I've actively done over the last week or so) and I've managed to stabilize.
Before I continue I want to break in with a short side-track. One of my rules when going to these events is never fanboy. Especially if you have a pass above what's available to the general public. I have only broken that rule twice before (when I met Dendi and Fy for the first time). This weekend became the third time ever. After Liquid's win, I ended up at the hotel bar with them, waiting for a shuttle as they were my ticket into the afterparty. Suddenly I find myself standing next to GeT_RiGhT. Now I'm not a huge CS:GO fan. I watch a lot of it but I haven't put a lot of hours into the game. But the old NiP roster from the early days of the game still holds a place in my heart. So I decided to break my rule. And he was just awesome. With Dendi and Fy, I simply asked for a picture and they were gone. GeT_RiGhT stuck around, talked to me for a bit and was actually excited to chat to me, which just blew my mind. He seemed like a genuinely good person. And believe it or not but that helped too.
All of this doesn't mean that my journey is over. It's just begun and while it's great to feel good today, I need to make sure I never end up where I was at the end of June, ever again. It's OK to be depressed from time to time but I also want to have the tools to combat that. I want to have the tools identify, and break, that negative spiral on my own way before it becomes a huge issue. That's what I'll be working on for the foreseeable future.