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One More Game

by OneForMrsE | U.S. Army Veteran

I joined the Army in 2007 after a good friend passed away. In hindsight, this was not the correct reason to join the military, as depression makes us do fun things to ourselves.

As I like to tell the world, I spent a lovely year in Afghanistan. My Father (a retired 1SG) told me that when I left home, I would never feel the same; I would get used to the feeling, and it would become normal. I wished at the time I understood that the way I understand it today.

While I was deployed, I lived by the idea of “Just one thing.” I would find one good thing that happened to me that day. Not going to lie; normally, that one good thing involved waking up early enough to see the sun rise over the mountains or the fact that I could see the stars way better than I could from my home in NC. Those were my good things.

When I got home, I went to a dark space. I could no longer justify the stars or the sunrise keeping me alive.

Then, as funny as it seems now, I started playing Guitar Hero on my brother's PS2. I didn’t care for most (if any) of the songs, but when I played Guitar Hero, I didn’t have to care about anything. There wasn’t going to be a horrible thing that happened if I couldn’t hit all of the notes. I could just jam and not care. Then I started going to a bar. The Bartender (Tom) was a whole saint. He showed me the bar games that they had. I could go into his bar and play this stupid dinosaur game for hours (think Tetris but Dino-themed), and he would keep people from talking to me, and I could just game and sip on the same drink for hours. That stupid Dino Tetris game saved me by accident.

13 years later. I still have very bad days. However, now I have met friends in different gaming communities, and I know that I can ping one of them and say, “Can we play Overwatch or Apex?” because I just need to not care. Similar to Guitar Hero, it is not the end of the world if we don’t win, and it's a nice endorphin boost if we do. I would have never met these people if that stupid Dino Tetris game hadn’t reminded me that video games are fun.

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