Thursday, the 15th of January, was my birthday. I turned 26 years old in 2015. I was perfectly happy with the quarter, 25, but time has a way of convincing us to move along.
The past several days have shown me just how great celebration and excitement can be when embraced. It wasn’t always easy, and still isn’t, to work up to and believe that the joy of accepting a holiday and joining those around you celebrating is greater than a more lonesome reaction. This week I’m reflecting on my common response to birthdays and holidays in the past, and how more enthusiasm has made me happier.
Note: this post and game aren’t particularly enjoyable or happy, so don’t read on if you don’t feel able to or don’t want to deal with a heavy subject.
Depression Quest is a game devoted to helping people understand what it feels like to be depressed, as well as to let those who have similar experiences in reality understand that they are not alone. While I’d seen it before but didn’t play, I stumbled upon it again, on Christmas Eve, through some indie game developers on Twitter. I decided to play this game, though not because I suffer from depression, nor because I wanted to destroy any feelings of happiness or joy during the holiday season.
Instead the game felt appropriate after hearing of friends having difficulty with the stresses of the holidays. There’s a pressure to perform and be cordial and social. There’s a perceived necessity for everything to Go Just Right. For some, there’s a lot of pain in forced interaction with certain family members. Even transgressions and lack of consideration for triggering or harmful behavior.
So I played it with all that in mind, trying to better understand those close to me who don’t go home and find comfort, but stress.